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Split from Catalina Diver died.. Advanced Certification is a joke

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by Teamcasa, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, Ca.
    I still think that the instructor is the one who decides who to pass and who has completed the skills in a manor that they think meets the AOW requirements, especially with the instructor knowing what that AOW cert is used to indicate to dive charters these days
    ... are they comfortable in the water? ... do they show that they understand what is being taught? ... are they proficient in the particular skill?
    Can you show me where PADI (or any agency) has taken the decision making process away from the instructor ?
    ... just because you can fumble through something does not mean you pass, or it should not
  2. SkimFisher

    SkimFisher Manta Ray

    For what its worth, here's my perspective as a beginner:

    I was recently certified in September and already have 15 dives under my belt. I'm hooked but don't feel that I'm ready for AOW. **However, the LDS that I took my OW through has been pushing me to take Nitrox and AOW from the moment my instructor signed me off.** Could I take the class and pass? No question. It's got nothing to do with me being timid or nervous, it's just the simple fact that I'm in no rush. I've seen divers that are AOW that still can't control their bouyancy, don't "know" their gear, how to do a weight check, think about proper dive planning or even remember to wear a watch and keep track of their in/out times, air consumption and so on. To me, these are things you should do automatically and routinely before taking an "advanced" class that's going to put you at 100 feet.

    I think that some LDS's are rather dismissive when it comes to experience for beginners. When I take the AOW and Nitrox I don't want to be "that diver" taking an "advanced" class that fits in the above category.

    To me personally, there's a lot more to it than just passing a test. I think most people will agree that, applied elsewhere in life, "tests" are not always an accurate measure of knowledge - both in theory and application. Someone on here once said that a certification simply means that at *one* point in your life you had the knowledge necessary to complete a task.

    But hey, that's just my opinion.
  3. divengolf

    divengolf Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Williamsburg, Virginia

    As usual, Lynne hit the nail right on the head. Emphasis added in last paragraph.
  4. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    I liked my 12 week course for $25 in '68!
  5. Noboundaries

    Noboundaries Manta Ray

    At the time my wife and I took the AOW class our experience consisted of OW, a refresher course, three ocean dives, and two cenote dives. We probably survived those five post OW dives by over-preparing the basics and being too ignorant to know better.

    That said, my wife and I had an absolutely fantastic instructor for our AOW class who cut us zero slack when exercising the required skills. All five dives were essentially a buoyancy control lesson that went WAY beyond the requirements of the buoyancy control cert.

    I absolutely hate the name and the implied significance of the Advanced Open Water certification regardless how you spin it. If I were supreme king of the scuba universe I'd change all the names to Phase One Open Water, Phase Two Open Water, Phase Three Rescue, Phase Four Professional Development, etc. Unfortunately, it is what it is for marketing reasons, Advanced Open Water, a definite misnomer.
  6. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    When I finally had to get certified in the 60s for a new job, my LAC course took us through the equivalent of OW, AOW and Rescue in one swell foop! As I remember it, the course took three weeks plus two dive trips (boat and shore). It was a great course and taught e stuff I'd never learned in my eight prior years of diving w/out certification.

    Of course a program like that would easily run $1,200-1,500 today and pose quite a barrier to those interested in learning to dive. AOW certainly does not automatically make a diver "advanced," but I do think it is a good idea and undertaking it soon after OW makes sense to me.

    I didn't take AOW until 40 years after I began diving. The reason was that I was tired of PADI instructors asking me to do checkout dives with them because they had no idea what the LAC card meant. The PADI instructor I finally did AOW with on the Great Barrier Reef not only knew what my LAC meant, he called it a "museum piece." Once I had the PADI AOW card, no one asked me to do a checkout dive again.

    I do think PADI needs to add some standards to their instructor certification! How is it that a PADI instructor (including one from Los Angeles) has no clue as to what an LAC certification means? Heck, PADI didn't exist until what, 1968? Where do they think the founders of PADI got THEIR training?

    After nearly 50 years and thousands of logged dives, I hope to reach the advanced diver category before I die!
  7. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    Clearly, most divers agree that Advanced Open Water certification is not a valid indication of the diver's skill but only step two in their training. Having taken a similar certification mentioned by Dr. Bill I feel the same.
    It is just part two of many on the path of becoming a truly skilled diver.

    OTOH, The AOW certification should require more logged dives of at least 70-80' before anything below 80' should be attempted.

    Lynne suggestion of calling it OW2 is a good idea as well.
  8. pdelannoy

    pdelannoy Solo Diver

    I agree with Newman from several posts back. The OW should be a longer process and after certification I think the OW diver should dive and build experience. The AOW should be a real advancement in skill.

    On my AOW, one diver with 12 dives took nearly an hour to don his equipment and get in the water off the boat.

  9. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    With all these arguments having been presented ad~nausea here in the past, we never seem to get anywhere on these types of debates! :rofl3:

    I did my AOW immediately following my OW trainiing. IMO, it is a logical progression, and a very good idea for a new diver to get a few more dives under their belt before venturing forth into the world of diving.

    For those that want to agency Bash, give it a break unless you have seriously constructive ideas.

    For those that don't like the term "Advanced" get over it, or complain to PADI/NAUI/SSI.. etc.

    In this economy and in light of past action (or lack there of) don't think for a second that the agencies, or the LDS is going to change anything that results in the classes being longer, more difficult, or more expensive.
  10. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    It's not really a debate but more like expressing your thoughts.

    Sure, posting it here will likely not have any effect on an agency's policy but it might make a new diver realize how important additional training is in their diving life. Hence the location of this thread.

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